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Acquisitions Are Music to Macrovision's Ears

5 Nov, 2002 By: Hive News

Digital rights management (DRM) and copy protection developer and vendor Macrovision Corp. has agreed to acquire the assets and operations of two CD protection technology companies, Macrovision announced today.

Terms were not disclosed for the acquisitions of Tel Aviv, Israel-based Midbar Tech Ltd., maker of the Cactus Data Shield (CDA), and with TTR Technologies, Inc.'s music copy protection and DRM assets while terminating an alliance agreement between the two companies. The closing of each transaction is subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals and the fulfillment of certain other closing conditions by each party.

Midbar's CDS 100 and CDS 200 copy protection technology has, to date, been deployed on more than 45 million audio CDs, with particularly widespread usage in the Asian and European markets. Midbar's acquired assets also include three issued U.S. patents, and three U.S. patents pending.

TTR assetsin the deal include three issued and eight pending U.S. patents and a number of international patent applications in the areas of optical media copy protection. The termination of the Macrovision-TTR Alliance Agreement will terminate copy protection revenue-sharing arrangement between the two companies.

"It's no exaggeration to say that the global music industry is at a digital crossroads," said Brian McPhail, VP and GM of Macrovision's Consumer Software Division. "It's imperative that standardized IP management technologies emerge for the music industry to guard the digital rights of content creators while allowing consumers the freedom to enjoy music with ease and convenience. These transactions will enable Macrovision to deliver a widely accepted, highly flexible, and deployable suite of IP management solutions that meet the needs of all the constituents of the music industry--from artists to consumers."

The transaction will enable Macrovision to provide a complete family of products and services that preserve consumers' music listening experience while providing the controls to enable artists and music labels to be fairly compensated for their creative works, a spokesperson said.

"Midbar is an ideal strategic and cultural fit with Macrovision," said Macrovision president and CEO Bill Krepick. "Midbar's core technologies complement our existing offerings, and this combination will allow us to develop a 'best-of-breed' solution for music consumers, labels and artists. Moreover, both of our firms have emphasized research and development activities to generate breakthrough intellectual property ('IP') management solutions that enable music labels to offer consumers more robust and varied means of enjoying their music. The combined technical expertise and operational resources of both firms -- in addition to the additional technology and intellectual property acquired from TTR -- will allow Macrovision to shorten the development time required to bring a complete solution to the music space that serves the needs of all constituents."

The combined Macrovision and Midbar development staffs will develop a best-of-breed solution by integrating Macrovision's SafeAudio and SafeAuthenticate solutions with Midbar's CDS 100 and CDS 200 products. As part of that integrated suite, the combined development team will complete the advanced R&D projects that they are working on to facilitate controlled CD-burning technology and the controlled export of music files to consumer electronic devices.

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